If you’re concerned because the Redskins have not brought the player you want them to take in the first round in for a visit, don’t worry about it. There is at about a 50 percent chance that it doesn’t matter.
Visits by a draft prospect to the team facility are very unreliable indicators as to whether or not a team will draft a given player. Last year all three of the quarterbacks taken in the first round, Blake Bortles (Jaguars), Johnny Manziel (Browns), and Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings), visited the facilities of the teams that eventually drafted them. But of the other 29 first round picks only 16 had those pre-draft visits. That’s about 55 percent, so you could do almost as well predicting the draft using visits as a guide by flipping a coin.
Another number that works against tying visits to eventual draft selections is the number of visits permitted. A team is allowed 30 pre-draft visits per year and they get seven draft picks. Even if they only draft players who visited that still means that over three fourths of the visits were by players they don’t take.
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Sometimes visits are smokescreens, designed to make other teams believe there is interest in that player for various strategic purposes. The flip side of that coin is that sometimes a team doesn’t set up a visit to keep from tipping off their interest to other teams. Mike Shanahan famously had no visits or workouts with quarterback Jay Cutler in 2006 before trading up to draft the Vanderbilt product with the 11th pick of the first round.
So, the visits by Ereck Flowers and Dante Fowler and the upcoming visit by Vic Beasley mean either that there is or isn’t Redskins interest in them. Ditto on the fact that Kevin White, Amari Cooper, Randy Gregory, and other top-five possibilities have not visited. They’re either extremely interested to the point where they don’t want to tip their hands or they just aren’t under consideration.
The good news here is that we have less than two weeks until it all starts to unfold.
The Redskins offensive line struggled through the first two games of the 2017 preseason, and more bad news arrived Monday night when CBS Sports reported that center Spencer Long underwent a knee scope and is expected to miss the next two weeks.
Long moved to center last season when Kory Lichtensteiger got injured, and the results were solid. In 2015, Long started a number of games at left guard, but at center in 2016, he seemed a natural fit as a leader and a quick learner calling the Redskins protections.
With Long expected to miss some time, rookie Chase Roullier will take over the top center job. Rouillier played center his senior season at Wyoming and earned All Mountain West honors. At 6-foot-4 and 312 lbs., Roullier has comparable size to Long, who goes 6-foot-5 and 320 lbs. Both players also played some guard in college.
Washington coach Jay Gruden has repeatedly talked about the importance of a backup center, and with Roullier now moved to the top line, expect the Redskins to move quick to bring a veteran in for depth. This will make sorting out the offensive line roster even murkier as the Redskins approach roster cuts after their fourth preseason game.
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NFL preseason games usually don't cause a stir on the Internet. That is, until a very important player suffers an injury in one.
That's exactly what happened during Monday night's Giants-Browns game in Cleveland. While going up to snag an Eli Manning pass, Odell Beckham Jr. was cut down by Briean Boddy-Calhoun on what was a gruesome-looking play:
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At first, Beckham Jr. somehow looked like he was going to be OK. But he eventually had to head to the New York locker room, and the team later said his ankle is what they were concerned about:
If that's all it turns out to be, consider the receiver and the Giants lucky. In looking at replays of the hit, it's remarkable to think that he could emerge from it with no knee issues.
New York will surely update his status once they find out more.
UPDATE - 10:26 P.M.
The entire Big Apple sighs a giant sigh of relief:
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